Media Releases | 27th May, 2011

Big polluters’ scare tactics not supported by the facts

Friday, 27 May 2011

The first round of PolluterWatch briefing papers, released today by the Australian Conservation Foundation, Greenpeace, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and Environment Victoria, directly refutes claims that Australian industries will suffer from a price on pollution.

Big polluting companies have been out in force claiming the economic sky will fall in if Australia finally puts a price on pollution.

With the Multi Party Climate Change Committee about to negotiate how much assistance will go to industry under the carbon pricing scheme, the groups said it was time to set the record straight.

In five briefing papers released today the claims made by Alcoa, BlueScope Steel, BHP Billiton, International Power and Woodside are put under the spotlight.

Far from being poor, vulnerable companies that would be forced to stop investing in Australia and cut jobs if a price is put on pollution, the PolluterWatch briefs show:

  • Australia’s big polluters are some of the dirtiest companies in the world
  • The industries in which they operate have had numerous opportunities to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their pollution
  • For the most part, these companies’ profits, revenues, sales and CEO salaries continue to climb through the multimillions of dollars while they continue to push out millions of tonnes of pollution that all Australians are paying for
  • These companies regularly reject opportunities to reduce their emissions
  • While publicly threatening to cut jobs, close plants and shelve planned investments in Australia, these companies consistently fail to make any such announcements to their shareholders, some of them in fact telling the market they could even benefit from a price on pollution.

The second round of PolluterWatch briefs will be released in coming weeks with facts on RioTinto, TruEnergy, Xstrata and a special brief on big polluter industry associations.

PolluterWatch is an initiative of Greenpeace, the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and Environment Victoria. Check it out here